How Do We Know the Bible Has No Errors in It (Inerrancy)?
Since the Scriptures are “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). This fact doesn’t mean that the men who wrote the Scriptures were inerrant. They were sinners like us. When they wrote inerrant books it was a miracle of God, like Jesus’ miracles.
Do we have any of the original copies written by the biblical authors? No. So how do we know that our versions don’t have errors? That’s where having thousands of ancient manuscripts is important. We can see by comparing these manuscripts to each other and to our current Bibles that we have a very accurate record of what the originals said. God is so wise in preventing us from having the originals, because we humans have a great tendency to make idols out of such things. We likely would have believed that the original copies had mysterious, magical powers in the paper and ink rather than in the words God actually said.
Who Can Understand the Bible (Clarity)?
Anyone can understand the Bible! That’s a wonderful thing about this book! The Scriptures speak plainly and clearly communicate what we need to know for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). But anyone who can read it can understand it.
Why Do We Need the Bible to Know God (Necessity)?
We can learn a lot about God by observing the natural world (Romans 1:20).
Does the Bible Tell Us Everything We Need to Know (Sufficiency)?
The Scriptures tell us everything we need to know in order to live godly lives in Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:3), like some false religions want us to believe (e.g., Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses).
A Lot More Where That Came From!
I hope this is helpful to you, particularly with younger kids. But there’s so much more to say, and so much more kids may ask. So let me point you to a gold mine of the doctrine of Scripture on our website (and a couple beyond) where you can strengthen your understanding of and stoke your awe over the miracle that is the Bible.
“Why We Believe the Bible” is a five-part seminar John Piper did a few years ago. It’s wonderful and time well spent. If you have older kids, this would be an excellent resource to watch or listen to with them.
“Why I Trust the Scriptures” is a single 90-minute message on the reliability of the Bible. John addresses some recent challenges to the Bible’s trustworthiness.
Believing the Bible Book List is a list of excellent books that will provide a very good education on the doctrine of Scripture.
“Is the Bible Without Error?” is a three-minute audio clip of Pastor John answering this question. A great refresher if you’re child asks.
“What Is Inerrancy?” is a nine-minute audio clip of Pastor John answering this question.
“How Are the Synoptics ‘Without Error’?” is an article John wrote back in his pre-Bethlehem professor days addressing apparent inconsistencies in the Synoptic Gospels.
The ESV Study Bible contains many wonderful, brief summary articles on just about everything you want to know about the Bible.
Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, as always, provides an excellent overview of the Doctrine of Scripture.